As part of International Women’s Day 2016, Join Dementia Research is celebrating the role that women play in our field by looking at the roles of two women who are involved in Join Dementia Research.

ClarissaGiebel4Clarissa Giebel is a Research Assistant at the University of Manchester:

“I became interested in dementia research several years ago when I was studying memory disorders. I was intrigued to find out more about how something so crucial to everyday life, be that reading a book or recognising your partner or child, can deteriorate. Since then, I have been working as a research assistant and am currently finishing my PhD in dementia research. I primarily investigate how everyday activities, such as cooking and driving, are related to cognition and well-being. I’m hoping to develop a cognitive intervention with these findings.
Join Dementia Research has been an invaluable source of access to carers and people with dementia, and without their help, I would not have been able to progress with data collection so well, so a big thank you to Join Dementia Research and everyone taking part in research!”

GemmaStringerGemma Stringer is a Research Associate at the University of Manchester:

“A few years ago I started working as a Research Assistant at Manchester Metropolitan University on a project using mobile devices to investigate facial expressions of emotion in people with dementia. I really enjoyed working with people with dementia and their carers, the experiences and the challenges they face motivated me to want to contribute further to dementia research.

I currently work as a Research Associate with Dr Iracema Leroi on a project called SAMS (Software Architecture for Mental Health Self-Management) investigating the potential of computer use behaviours for detecting cognitive change. Alongside this role I am completing a PhD focusing on the relationship between computer use and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) in people with cognitive decline such as mild cognitive impairment and mild Alzheimer’s Disease.

One of the most satisfying aspects of this role is communicating with the participants, their families and caregivers who are so willing to give up their time to contribute to research. As part of my research I came to understand that there is a greater prevalence of dementia amongst women and a greater proportion of caregivers are women. There is a growing need to recognise dementia as a growing women’s health issue. In the future, I hope to continue to be involved in this area of research and contribute to improving the lives of people with dementia and their carers.”

Did you know that two thirds of people with dementia are women?

didyouknow4It has also been unveiled recently that dementia is now the leading cause of death for women over the age of eighty, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.

What is worrying, on top of all of these figures, is that we don’t know why this is the case, and why diagnoses of dementia seem to be disproportionally high for women. Much is yet to be discovered about dementia, and the vast family of conditions it encompasses including Alzheimer’s Disease.

Find out if you are eligible for any studies on Join Dementia Research by logging into your account. If you haven’t yet registered with Join Dementia Research, why not sign up today?

You can sign up online or by calling Alzheimer Scotland on 0808 808 3 000, Alzheimer’s Research UK 0300 111 5 111 or Alzheimer’s Society on 0300 222 1122.